I answered that I had never been a habitual drinker, that I had never been what was called a "moderate drinker," that I had never gone to a bar and drank alone; but that I had been accustomed, in company with other young men, on convivial occasions to taste the pleasures of the flowing bowl, sometimes to excess, but that I had also tasted the pains of it, and for months before my demise had refrained from liquor altogether. The holy man looked grave, but, after reflection, said this might also be overlooked in a young man.
"What," continued he, in tones still more serious, "has been your conduct with regard to the other sex?"
I fell upon my knees in a tremor of fear. I pulled from my bosom a little book like the one Leperello exhibits in the opera of "Don Giovanni." There, I said, was a record of my flirtation and inconstancy. I waited long for the decision, but it came in mercy.
"Rise," he cried; "young men will be young men, I suppose. We shall forgive this also to your youth and penitence."
"Your examination is satisfactory, he informed me," after a pause; "you can now enter the abodes of the happy."